Crisp-fried Chicken Breasts with Melting Cheese and Chives

The cheese you use for this can vary. It is lovely with a mild and crumbly cheese, such as Lancashire or Wensleydale, but if you prefer a highly flavoured cheese, try a mature Cheddar. It is good served with a green salad with lots of watercress in it.

Serves 6

Crisp-fried Chicken Breasts with Melting Cheese and Chives
 4 skinless chicken breasts (6 oz/175 g each)
 4 oz (110 g) Lancashire, Wensleydale or Cheddar cheese
 11/2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
 2 oz (50 g) plain flour
 2 large eggs, beaten
 4 oz (110 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
 3-4 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil
 Salt and freshly milled black pepper


First of all, take each of the chicken breasts and, using a small, very sharp knife, make a cut to form a pocket in each one lengthways. Then crumble the cheese and mix it with the chives and fill each of the pockets with a quarter of the cheese mixture. Next, season the flour with salt and pepper. Dust the chicken breasts with seasoned flour, then coat them in beaten egg and then roll each one in breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs firmly all round to get an even coating.

Now heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and, keeping the heat at medium, cook the chicken breasts for 10 minutes on each side, by which time they will be golden brown and cooked through, adding a little more oil, if necessary. Drain them briefly on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt and freshly milled black pepper before serving.

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